These hot chocolate macarons are the best treat to cozy up with and enjoy the holiday season! This easy-to-follow French macaron recipe is full of detailed instructions and tips and tricks for making these delicious hot cocoa cookies successfully!
My favorite process for making macarons is always first thinking of a dessert and then asking myself how I could make this same flavor but as a macaron.
Hot chocolate is a top three flavor whenever I think of winter and especially Christmas. It's a classic cozy flavor that I knew I wanted to turn into a macaron. I noticed a lot of hot chocolate macaron recipes already out there involve making marshmallow buttercream or something similar in variety.
To make these macarons different, I went the quick, easy, and more delicious route of simply sticking half a store-bought marshmallow in between the shells and lightly torching it.
The result? A ridiculously delicious hot chocolate-inspired macaron that tastes just like a cup of hot cocoa. I already know these will be your newest Christmas cookie recipe yet!!
hot chocolate macaron highlights
- Easy-to-follow French macaron recipe
- Store bought marshmallow center
- Not overly sweet
- Taste just like a mug of hot cocoa
- Perfect for Christmas
- They freeze really well
- Can be made ahead of time
- Almond meal: I love buying mine in bulk from Costco or Bob's Red Mill as they have the best high quality meal.
- Sugar: I use cane sugar because it has a fine texture.
- Egg whites- fresh egg whites are required for successful macarons.
- Marshmallows- I used regular sized marshmallow and cut each one in half otherwise it's too much marshmallow.
A complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below!
helpful equipment & tools
- Kitchen scale: I have this exact scale and it's always less than $10 on Amazon. The ratio of ingredients is the most important key to success!
- Fine mesh sifter: this tool is required for sifting the dry ingredients so your shells are smooth and lump free.
- Kitchen Aid stand mixer: I have a standard 4-quart mixer, but a 5-quart would work as well. I don't recommend using a hand-mixer but I know some people do have success with them!
- Silicone baking mats: I prefer to bake them on a silicone baking mat to maintain even heat.
- 18 inch piping bag: A large bag will be easier to pipe with and you can fit all the batter inside it!
- #12 Wilton tip: This tip is what I use every single time. It's a small round tip that allows more control over piping the batter.
- Kitchen torch: You will need a kitchen torch for the marshmallows.
- Sift the dry ingredients.
- Whip the whites into a stiff-peak meringue.
- Combine the dries into the meringue
- Pipe the shells.
- Rest the shells.
- Bake, fill, and assemble the shells.
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
step by step
Step 1: Sift the powder sugar, almond meal, and cocoa powder together into a large bowl, then set it aside.
Step 2: Add the egg whites to a clean stand mixing bowl and use the whisk attachment to whip them to soft peaks. Sprinkle the sugar into the mixing bowl and then continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
TIP- Make sure you egg whites are at a stiff peak before moving on. You should look for the meringue to be glossy, shiny, and hold a stiff peak when the whisk is removed.
Step 3: Add the stiff whites to a large bowl and add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients. Fold the dries and meringue together with a rubber spatula and then add the next third. Continue folding until all of the dries are combined into the meringue.
Step 4: Scrape the batter against the sides of the bowl until the batter starts to look thin and glossy. Pick up some of the batter and let it fall off the spatula. If it falls slowly in ribbons and you can draw a figure 8 with it, the batter is ready.
TIP- Scrape the batter slowly to prevent you from over-mixing the batter, in which case you would have to start over!
Step 5: Fit an 18-inch piping bag with a #12 round Wilton tip and fill it with the batter. Flip a baking tray upside down and line it with a silicone baking mat. Pipe the batter directly above the tray into 1 ½ inch rounds, spaced 1 ½ inches apart. Tap the tray on the counter and pop any air bubbles on the surface with a toothpick.
Let the shells rest for about 30 minutes or until a dry skin forms, then bake at 300 F/149 C for 12-14 minutes. Touch the top of the shell to see if it moves while baking, if it doesn't budge from the feet, they are done.
TIP- If you live in a humid environment, resting the shells could take much longer than 30 minutes! Try not to make them when the outside humidity level is above 60%.
Step 6: Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Dip the bottoms of all the macaron shells in the melted chocolate. Cut the marshmallows in half with a serrated knife then stick the marshmallows on half of the shells.
Step 7: Sandwich the marshmallow with the other half of the shell. Place them on a tray and let them chill in the fridge for 10 minutes so the chocolate hardens and secures the marshmallow in place. Then use a kitchen torch to lightly torch half of the marshmallow center or torch the whole thing!
TIP- The marshmallow will slide around on the shell if you don't allow the chocolate to chill after assembling them.
storage & freezing
- Refrigerator- Once filled, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge overnight to soften. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge.
- Freezer- You can freeze just the shells or the assembled macarons for up to 1 month!
- Make ahead- I always recommend making macarons the day before you plan to serve them so they have time to mature overnight.
NOTE- Naturally, the macarons will harden in the fridge so before eating, leave them out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to soften.
expert tips for perfect macarons
- Wipe your mixing bowl with vinegar: This will ensure it is free from any fat residue which can prevent your eggs from whipping.
- Whip the whites to stiff peaks: not whipping the egg whites long enough can result in various problems.
- Gently fold the batter: using a rubber spatula is required for macaron success and is the only tool that is gentle enough to fold the batter to the right consistency.
- Use an upside down baking pan: My favorite trick for making macarons!
- Don't skip resting them- Resting the shells is required in order for the feet to form at the bottom of the shell.
- Let them mature overnight: This will soften the shells and marry the flavors together for the best taste and texture.
- I don't recommend halving the recipe- The amount of egg white will be too small to whip up properly and the batter is easier to over-mix.
- Chocolate- you can use melted dark, semi-sweet, milk, or white chocolate to dip the shells.
- Marshmallow- You can use a flavored marshmallow instead of the plain vanilla. One with peppermint would be delicious!
Macarons can be tricky the first few times you make them, but if you read and follow all the tips and tricks in this post I can guarentee success!
I really don't recommend making them without a scale. In my opinion it's not worth taking the chance and wasting the ingredients when you can get a scale on Amazon for 6$!!
Hold your piping bag straight up and down and pipe directly over the top of the pan. Squeeze the bag with even, consistent pressure and count to 3 while piping. Make sure your tip is round and not shaped as well!
You don't have to torch them, or you can try browning them on a pan in the oven! I have not tried this method but I would love to hear what you come up with!
Yes! The marshmallow will harden in the freezer along with the shell, but once they come back to room temperature they are perfectly soft and chewy.
more christmas related recipes
Hot Cocoa Macarons
- Stand mixing bowl with whisk and paddle attachment
- large mixing bowl
- rubber spatula
- 18 inch piping bag
- Silicone baking mat
- baking tray ( SEE NOTES )
- Kitchen torch
Chocolate Shell Ingredients
- 120 grams powdered sugar
- 138 grams blanched almond meal
- 8 grams dark cocoa powder
- 107 grams egg whites, room temperature
- 110 grams granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 10 large marshmallows, cut in half width wise
- ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted for dipping
Making the Macaron Shells
- Line an upside down pan with a silicone baking mat and fit a piping bag with a small #12 Wilton round tip, then set them both aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the almond meal, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder into a larger bowl and discard any large pieces. Set aside.120 grams powdered sugar, 138 grams blanched almond meal, 8 grams dark cocoa powder
- In a stand mixing bowl, begin whisking the egg whites on medium low speed for 2-3 minutes until foamy, then add the cream of tartar.⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar, 107 grams egg whites, room temperature
- Very slowly, sprinkle the sugar into the mixing whites with a spoon. When all of the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium and whip for about 7-8 minutes or until stiff peaks form.110 grams granulated sugar
- Add ⅓ of the sifted dry mixture to the bowl of meringue. Fold very gently with a spatula until combined. Continue until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Scrape the batter against the side of the bowl. Every few scrapes, pick up the batter and let it fall into the bowl. The batter should flow slowly in a continuous ribbon. Try to make a figure 8 with the batter. If it falls without breaking, it's ready.
- Pipe the batter directly over the baking tray. Drop the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles which you can pop with a tooth pick.
- Let the shells sit to dry and form a skin, at least 30 minutes or until you can touch the tops without leaving an impression. Preheat the oven to 300 F/149 C.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. The shells are done baking when the top of the shell doesn't budge from the feet. Let the tray cool completely on a wire rack before removing the shells.
Assembling the Macarons
- Dip the bottoms of all the shells in the melted chocolate. Cut the marshmallows in half with a serrated knife and stick one on half of the shells. Sandwich the marshmallow with the other half of the shell, then place them on a tray and let them chill in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden the chocolate and secure the marshmallow in place.10 large marshmallows, cut in half width wise, ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
- Torch half the marshmallow with a kitchen torch and enjoy!
Tips for Perfect Macarons
- Use almond meal, not almond flour- almond flour is not as fine as almond meal and you will have little brown specks in your shells.
- Use a kitchen scale- the ratio of ingredients is the most important key to success. I always recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients for success!
- Wipe your bowl with vinegar- before mixing the egg whites, dampen a paper towel with a bit of white vinegar to ensure it is free from any fat residue which can prevent your eggs from whipping.
- Whip the whites to stiff peaks- not whipping the egg whites long enough can result in a whole bunch of macaron problems.
- Gently fold the batter- using a rubber spatula is required for macaron success. It is the only tool that is gentle enough to fold the batter to the right consistency.
- Use an upside down baking pan- my favorite trick for perfect macarons is turning the pan upside down to prevent hollow or exploded shells.
- Don't skip resting them- resting the shells is required in order for the feet to form at the bottom of the shell when baking.
- Let them mature overnight- once filled and assembled, let the macrons mature in the fridge overnight. This will soften the shells and marry the flavors together for the best texture.
StorageOnce filled, store them in an air tight container overnight in the fridge to soften. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge! You can also freeze just the shells or the filled macarons for up to 1 month! Naturally the macarons will harden in the fridge so before eating, leave them out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to soften.
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.